At Last Mile Health, we partner with governments to build strong community health systems that extend primary healthcare to the world’s most remote communities.
Nearly nine million people around the world die each year from preventable causes, simply because of where they live. This inequity—shaped by global systems designed by those who hold power and privilege—is especially acute in rural and remote communities, where an estimated two billion people live beyond the reach of the health system.
But we can close the distance when we invest in those closest to the community—community health workers—and the systems that enable their success.
Studies have shown that professional community health workers reduce child mortality, improve maternal health outcomes, and provide essential surveillance and response during disease outbreaks. They are also highly cost-effective, with up to a 10:1 return on investment.
The opportunity now is to scale this proven, lifesaving intervention to reach more patients living in last mile communities. This starts with investing in community health workers as a professional cadre of health workers. To maximize their potential, they need to be skilled, supervised, salaried, and supplied by a well-functioning community health system operating at national scale and integrated into broader public systems via data and financing (we call these the “Six Ss”).
Over the next five years (July 2023–June 2028), Last Mile Health will deepen our impact in four to six community health systems and influence community health financing—all in service of ensuring that more people can equitably access quality healthcare. We will work with the governments of Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, and Sierra Leone (with the potential to scale to one to two additional countries in Africa) to improve community health systems. In parallel, we will influence community health funding, practice, and policy across Africa to improve how up to $2 billion in sustainable funding is invested in community health as part of Africa Frontline First.
Last Mile Health’s work began in Liberia, where we partnered with the Ministry of Health to design, launch, and scale the groundbreaking National Community Health Assistant Program to make primary healthcare universal for people living in rural and remote communities.
Today, our work has grown to support four countries in Africa, with over 8,000 community health workers serving over 5 million people.